Tips for Getting Involved in Your New Community

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Getting Involved in Your New Community

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Getting involved in your community may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. If you get out there and start meeting people, you can feel like part of your new community in no time. The following are some examples of how you can go about connecting with people, but remember that every community is different. People in various communities often care about different types of things and gather for many diverse reasons. The key is to find out what your community cares about.

Attend local government and community meetings

One easy way to get involved in your new community is to seek out and attend various local government meetings. Attending such meetings has at least two major benefits to new residents. The first is an opportunity to learn about the community. A vast amount of knowledge about a community can be gained in this fashion.

For example, some communities have "Environmental Commission" meetings on a monthly basis. Attending such a meeting would provide a new resident with an opportunity to learn how his or her new town approaches environmental issues. The second benefit is an opportunity to meet other residents of the locality that may share your passions and concerns.

Most townships have their own websites where a list of local government and community meeting schedules can be found. If you're having trouble finding the website for your municipality, check out your state government's website. Most state government websites will have lists of municipality websites.

Get involved in local sports

 
Communities across the country share a passion for sports. Almost every municipality nationwide has some form of organized sports teams and leagues either in town or very close by. Kids can join club leagues, recreational leagues or join a school team. Most towns often have teams or leagues for adults.

In addition to getting exercise, getting involved in local sports allows you to meet many new people who share your interests. Not an athlete? Don't worry. There are many other ways to get involved. Local sports teams and leagues often need coaches and other volunteers.

One of the best places to start is with Little League. Little League is one of the largest local sports organizations in the U.S. They host both baseball and softball leagues nationwide.
LiitleLeague.org provides all the information you would need for you and your kids to get involved. LittleLeague.org also provides information on how to start a team or league in your area if none exists.

Volunteer

If you'd like to start having a positive impact on your new community, in addition to building relationships, volunteering is a great option. You may want to volunteer at the local library, nursing home, or church. There are many good websites that can help you find opportunities.

Here are some suggestions:

 
  • There are many general resources online that can help you find somewhere to volunteer. Two such websites are: www.serve.gov and www.volunteermatch.com.
  • You may also want to get involved at a local animal shelter. Lists of local shelters can be found through www.aspca.org, which is the website of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    There are many national organizations that may have opportunities for you in your area. Check out organizations like Meals on Wheels Association of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Religious groups

Religious groups provide many Americans with both a sense of community and an aid in the pursuit of their spirituality or religion. Finding a local place of worship can be a good way to get plugged into the community. In addition to weekly services, religious groups often host social events and volunteer opportunities. There are many websites available that allow you to search for religious groups by location and denomination. This type of search option is usually included on the websites of religious groups or denominations.

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on August 27, 2009

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